Francis Joseph Kernan – Major General, United States Army

Kernan, Francis Joseph

Born at Jacksonville, Florida, October 19, 1859, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1881 and the United States Army War College in 1914.

He married Ella M. McCaffrey, March 18, 1898.

He was commissioned Second Lieutenant, 21st United States Infantry, June 11, 1881, and advanced through the grades to Brigadier General, March 23, 1917, and to Major General, National Army, August 5, 1917, and finally to Major General, United States Army, October 14, 1919.

He served on the staff of General Arthur MacArthur in the Philippines in 1898, and was the Judge Advocate, Department of Santa Clara, Cuba, and at Cienfuegos in 1899. He was again an aide to General MacArthur in Philippines, 1900-03, and was a Member of the General Staff Corps, Washington, DC, 1905-09. He was back in the Philippines in 1909, and was then Commander, 8th Infantry Brigade, El Paso, Texas, in April 1917.

He was Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, May-August 1917, and drew up the official instructions for General John J. Pershing (approved by Secretary of War Baker and President Wilson). He was appointed Commander, Camp Wheeler and Camp Macon, Georgia, September 1917. He then organized and commanded the Services of Supply in France, November 30, 1917-July 28, 1918. He served a Member of the United States Mission to Negotiate A Convention for The Treatment and Exchange of prisoners of war and detained civilians with the Germans at Berne, Switzerland, July 29-November 11, 1918. He was then Technical Military Adviser to the United States Commission to Negotiate Peace, Paris, November 1918-April 1919.

Finally, he served as Commander, Department of the Philippines, November 23, 1919-March 6, 1922. He retired from active duty on December 1, 1922. He died in Washington, D.C. in 1949 and was buried with full military honors in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.


Washington, DC, February 6th.

Major-General Francis Joseph Kernan, United States Army, retired, died on Saturday night at Daytona Beach, Florida at the age of 86 years and was buried today with full Military Honors in the National Cemetery at Arlington.

A veteran of the Spanish-American and First World Wars, General Kernan had served with distinction in the Phillipines, in Cuba, with the AEF in France and as technical military advisor to the American Commission to negotiate peace in Paris in 1918-1919.

His Phillipine service began in 1898 when he went ashore with the first landing party, and continued to include two tours of duty on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur, and finally three years as commander of the Department of the Phillipines from 1919 until his retirement in 1922.

Born at Jacksonville, FL the son of John A. and Elizabeth C. Kernan, he was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1881 and of the Army War College in Washington in 1914. He was promoted to Major General of the Regular Army, October 14th, 1919.

He leaves a widow; a daughter, Dr. Katherine Kernan Miller, now a practicing physician in New York, and three sons, Dr. Francis Morgan Kernan, and Philip and George Kernan, both graduates of West Point.

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